Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Aug 3rd Strumpshaw Fen

Kingfishers
It was a very kingfisher-y day at Strumpshaw this morning. As soon as I opened the door to the Fen Hide, there was not one, but two of them sitting on the same perching stick in front of the hide. A photographer was already inside the hide and was snapping away as I arrived. I quietly sat on a bench and joined her with my camera. The two kingfishers were both males and are more than likely related as siblings that had recently fledged. Only one of them was interested in catching its own breakfast though. The two of them sat on the perch for quite some time before finally moving on.
Little Egret
Shortly after the kingfishers left the scene at Fen Hide, I was watching a little egret and a pair of cormorants hunt. Then suddenly, everything on the water began to vacate the area. I then saw what had spooked them. Swimming along the edge of the far reed bed was an otter! It was only there for a few brief seconds, travelling at pace from right to left and vanishing behind islands of reeds. There was no time in reaching for camera for a photo.

Cormorant

Kingfisher at Reception Hide
Back at Reception Hide, there was more kingfisher action. I had a couple more sightings and one of them was on a perch close to the hide (at long last)! It was a rather autumnal-like morning with blustery winds and thick cloud cover that didn't get broken up by sunshine until the afternoon. The windy conditions did not seem to put off the birds or, even more surprisingly, the insects. Young marsh harriers were still begging for food from their parents, who were almost playing in the wind as they soared over the reserve undeterred. Butterflies and dragonflies were as active as ever, battling the gusts as they fly to flowers or over the water. Other highlights today include; a green woodpecker, small red-eyed damselflies, a sparrowhawk and a buzzard.

Marsh Harrier
Mallard
Grey Heron
Mute Swan
Moorhen
Azure Damselfly
Small red-eyed Damselfly

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